Ball Ground native and Kennesaw State pentathlete Jordan Gray was recognized for a standout indoor season last week, when she was named to the 2016-17 Atlantic Sun Conference Winner for Life team.
The Winners for Life Team recognizes student athletes who demonstrate the conference’s core values — education, honesty, student-athlete experience, fairness, health, ambition, respect, diversity, inclusion, leadership, responsibility and sportsmanship – and Gray said she was honored to be recognized for what she has done away from the track.
“It’s very honoring to be given that award,” she said. “I was very excited our staff even felt the need to nominate me. It’s cool to see recognition that doesn’t just have to do with our athleticism. It takes into account our community service, activities and things like that. It’s not what people usually see when they think of us.”
Away from the track, Grey kept busy.
She said she enjoys playing the saxophone and singing in her spare time, but she also spent time volunteering around the community at elementary schools and local races.
“A lot of it we do through the track and field program,” Gray said. “I’ve done some mission trips and church group stuff, too. I enjoy seeing families and kids when we do those things. It can be a lot of work, but I really enjoy having a meaningful impact on their lives.”
An academic all-American a season ago, Gray continued her success in the classroom as a member of the ASUN Women’s Indoor Track All-Academic team, and while she has stayed busy away from track, she has only gotten better on it.
The defending conference champion in the pentathlon, Gray was even better this time around setting a new school and conference record with 4,019 points. She was also named the ASUN Most Valuable Performer and the Most Outstanding Field Performer at the meet.
“When I came to Kennesaw, part of the reason I was being recruited was to win multiple events at the conference,” Gray said. “Last year, a big part of the pentathlon was saving myself. I was in so many open events. This year, we calculated out all the things I could do. The goal was get MVP, break the school and conference records and get Field Athlete of the Meet. I was happy we were able to do all that.”
Gray improved across the board this season, winning the shot put (44 feet, 6½ inches) and the long jump (18-10) at the conference championship. She was second in the pentathlon high jump (5-05), and she finished second in the open long jump and third in the open high jump.
“Definitely my jumps and throws have gotten better,” Gray said. “I’ve gotten better all around. I only ran for one year before I got here. Especially with the jumps and throws, my technique has gotten a lot better and I’ve improved. There are still some things I’m really…